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P.L. 110-69, The 21st Century Competitiveness Act of 2007 (1 comment ↓ | 9 wiki edits: view article ↓)
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H.R. 2272 would invest in innovation through research and development, and it would improve the competitiveness of the United States.
America COMPETES Act or America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science Act - <b>Title I: Office of Science and Technology Policy; Government-Wide Science </b>- (Sec. 1001) Directs the President to: (1) convene a National Science and Technology Summit to examine the health and direction of the United States' science, technology, engineering, and mathematics enterprises; and (2) issue a report on Summit results. Requires, beginning with the President's budget submission for the fiscal year following the conclusion of the Summit and for each of the following four budget submissions, the analytical perspectives component of the budget that describes the research and development (R&D) priorities to include a description of how those priorities relate to the conclusions and recommendations of the Summit.
(Sec. 1002) Requires the: (1) Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) to contract with the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to conduct and complete a study to identify, and review methods to mitigate, new forms of risk for businesses beyond conventional operational and financial risk that affect the ability to innovate; and (2) NAS to report study results to Congress. Authorizes appropriations.
(Sec. 1003) Amends the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 to rename the National Technology Medal established under such Act the National Technology and Innovation Medal.
(Sec. 1004) Expresses the sense of Congress that the OSTP Director should: (1) encourage all elementary and middle schools to observe a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Day twice in every school year; (2) initiate a program to encourage federal employees with scientific, technological, engineering, or mathematical skills to interact with school children on such Days; and (3) promote involvement in such Days by appropriate private sector and institution of higher education employees.
(Sec. 1005) Expresses the sense of Congress that the federal government should better understand and respond strategically to the emerging management and learning discipline known as service science. Requires the OSTP Director to study and report to Congress on ways the federal government could support service science through research, education, and training.
(Sec. 1006) Directs the President to establish a President's Council on Innovation and Competitiveness to undertake various activities for promoting innovation and competitiveness in the United States, measure progress in such promotion, and report annually to the President and Congress on such progress. Requires the NAS to submit to the President a list of 50 recommended advisors to such Council.
(Sec. 1007) Requires the Director of OSTP, through the National Science and Technology Council, to: (1) identify and prioritize the deficiencies in research facilities and major instrumentation at federal laboratories and national user facilities at academic institutions that are widely accessible for use by researchers in the United States; and (2) coordinate the planning by federal agencies for the acquisition, refurbishment, and maintenance of research facilities and major instrumentation to address the deficiencies identified. Requires submission annually to Congress of reports: (1) describing the deficiencies in research infrastructure identified; (2) listing projects and budget proposals of federal research facilities for major instrumentation acquisitions that are included in the President's budget proposal; and (3) explaining how the projects and instrumentation acquisitions relate to the identified deficiencies and priorities.
(Sec. 1008) Expresses the sense of Congress that: (1) each federal research agency should strive to support and promote innovation in the United States through high-risk, high-reward basic research projects; and (2) each executive agency that funds research in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics should set a goal of allocating an appropriate percentage of the annual basic research budget of that agency to funding such projects. Requires each such executive agency to report annually with respect to its funding goals.
(Sec. 1009) Requires the OSTP Director to develop and issue a set of principles to ensure the communication and open exchange of data and results to other agencies, policymakers, and the public of research conducted by a scientist employed by a federal civilian agency and to prevent the intentional or unintentional suppression or distortion of such research findings. Requires such principles to take into consideration the policies of peer-reviewed scientific journals in which federal scientists may currently publish results.
<b>Title II: National Aeronautics and Space Administration </b>- (Sec. 2001) Requires that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) be a full participant in any interagency effort to promote innovation and economic competitiveness through near- and long-term basic scientific R&D and the promotion of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education. Requires an annual report from the NASA Administrator to Congress and the President on promotional activities conducted.
Requires the NASA Administrator to submit to Congress a report on its plan for instituting assessments of the effectiveness of NASA's science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education programs in improving student achievement, including with regard to challenging state achievement standards.
(Sec. 2002) Requires the Administrator to coordinate, as appropriate, NASA's aeronautics activities with relevant programs in the Department of Transportation, the Department of Defense (DOD), the Department of Commerce, and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), including the activities of the Joint Planning and Development Office established under the Vision 100-Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act.
(Sec. 2003) Requires the NASA Administrator, the Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Secretaries of Energy, Defense, and Commerce to coordinate basic research activities related to physical sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
(Sec. 2004) Expresses the sense of Congress that the NASA Administrator should implement a program to address aging workforce issues in aerospace that: (1) documents technical and management experiences before senior people leave NASA; (2) provides incentives for retirees to return and teaches new employees about career lessons and experiences; and (3) provides for development of an award to recognize outstanding senior employees for their contributions to knowledge sharing.
(Sec. 2005) Expresses the sense of Congress that the NASA Administrator should utilize the existing Undergraduate Student Research Program to support basic research projects on subjects of relevance to NASA that: (1) are to be carried out primarily by undergraduate students; and (2) combine undergraduate research with other research supported by NASA.
(Sec. 2006) Requires the NASA Administrator to develop: (1) a plan for implementation of at least one education project that utilizes the resources offered by the International Space Station, and in developing any such plan, make use of the findings and recommendations of the International Space Station National Laboratory Education Concept Development Task Force; and (2) a plan for identification and support of research to be conducted aboard the Space Station, which offers the potential for enhancement of U.S. competitiveness in science, technology, and engineering.
<b>Title III: National Institute of Standards and Technology </b>- (Sec. 3001) Authorizes appropriations to the Secretary of Commerce (the Secretary) for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for FY2008-FY2010 for: (1) scientific and technical research and services laboratory activities; (2) construction and maintenance of facilities; and (3) Industrial Technology Services activities.
(Sec. 3002) Amends the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 to repeal provisions regarding the establishment of the Technology Administration within the Department of Commerce. Makes technical and conforming amendments with respect to the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Technology.
Amends the National Institute of Standards and Technology Act to provide for the Director of the NIST to report directly to the Secretary.
(Sec. 3003) Amends the National Institute of Standards and Technology Act to generally revise provisions concerning eligible contributions for the financial support of regional centers responsible for implementing the objectives of the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership Program.
Amends the National Institute of Standards and Technology Act to require that a Manufacturing Center that has not received a positive evaluation shall be notified of the deficiencies in its performance and placed on probation for one year, after which an evaluation panel shall reevaluate such Center. Authorizes the acceptance of funds from other federal departments and agencies and the private sector for the purpose of strengthening U.S. manufacturing. Requires the NIST Director to determine whether funds accepted from other federal departments or agencies shall be counted in calculating the federal share of capital and annual operating and maintenance costs required to create and maintain such Centers.
Establishes within NIST a Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Advisory Board. Requires such Board to provide to the Director advice on: (1) MEP programs, plans, and policies; (2) assessments of the soundness of MEP plans and strategies; and (3) assessments of current performance against MEP program plans. Requires such Board to transmit annual reports to the Secretary for transmittal to Congress within 30 days after the submission to Congress of the President's annual budget request which shall address the status of the MEP program and comment on the relevant sections of the programmatic planning document and updates thereto transmitted to Congress by the NIST Director pursuant to this title.
Requires the Director to establish within the MEP program a program to award competitive grants among the Centers, or a consortium of such Centers, for the development of projects to solve new or emerging manufacturing problems.
Permits one or more themes for the competition to be identified, which may vary from year to year, depending on the needs of manufacturers and the success of previous competitions. Bars recipients of such grant awards from being required to provide a matching contribution.
(Sec. 3004) Requires the NIST Director, concurrent with submission to Congress of the President's annual budget request, to transmit a three-year programmatic planning report for NIST, including programs under the Scientific and Technical Research and Services, Industrial Technology Services, and Construction of Research Facilities functions, and subsequent updates.
(Sec. 3005) Amends the National Institute of Standards and Technology Act to provide that annual reports to the Secretary and Congress be submitted by the Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology not later than 30 days (under current law, on or before January 31 in each year) after the submittal to Congress of the President's annual budget request. Requires that such report also comment on the programmatic planning document and updates thereto submitted to Congress by the Director.
(Sec. 3006 ) Amends the National Institute of Standards and Technology Act to provide for the Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology to meet at least twice each year (under current law at least quarterly) at the call of the chairman of the Committee or whenever one-third of the Committee's members so request in writing.
(Sec. 3007) Requires the Director to establish a manufacturing research pilot grants program to make awards to partnerships to foster cost-shared collaborations among firms, educational and research institutions, state agencies, and nonprofit organizations in the development of innovative, multidisciplinary manufacturing technologies. Requires such partnerships to include at least one manufacturing industry partner and one nonindustry partner.
Requires partnerships receiving awards to conduct applied research to develop new manufacturing processes, techniques, or materials that would contribute to improved performance, productivity, and competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing, and build lasting alliances among collaborators. Bars: (1) awards from providing for not more than one-third of the costs of a partnership; and (2) not more than an additional one-third of such costs from being obtained directly or indirectly from other federal sources.
Instructs the Director, in selecting applications, to ensure, a distribution of overall awards among a variety of manufacturing industry sectors and a range of firm sizes.
Requires the Director to run a single pilot competition to solicit and make awards. Limits each award to a 3-year period.
(Sec. 3008) Requires the Director, in order to promote the development of a robust research community working at the leading edge of manufacturing sciences, to establish a program to award: (1) postdoctoral research fellowships at NIST for research activities related to manufacturing sciences; and (2) senior research fellowships to establish researchers in industry or at institutions of higher education who wish to pursue studies related to the manufacturing sciences at NIST. Requires the Director to provide stipends for post-doctoral research fellowships at a level consistent with the National Institute of Standards and Technology Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Program, and senior research fellowships at levels consistent with support for a faculty member in a sabbatical position.
(Sec. 3009) Allows the Director, through September 30, 2010, to annually procure the temporary or intermittent services of up to 200 experts or consultants to assist with urgent or short-term projects.
Directs the Comptroller General to report on whether additional safeguards would be needed with respect to the use of such authority if it were to be made permanent.
(Sec. 3010) Amends the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 to revise the limitation on the number of Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Awards that may be made in any year by permitting not more than 18 awards to be made in any year to recipients who have not previously received such an award. Prohibits any award from being made within any category in which such an award may be given if there are no qualifying enterprises in that category.
(Sec. 3011) Requires the NIST Director to submit a report on efforts to recruit and retain young scientists and engineers at the early stages of their careers at the NIST laboratories and joint institutes.
(Sec. 3012) Abolishes the Advanced Technology Program (ATP) and replaces it with the Technology Innovation Program (TIP), while continuing support originally awarded under ATP. Provides for TIP to assist U.S. businesses and institutions of higher education or other organizations, such as national laboratories and nonprofit research institutions, to support, promote, and accelerate innovation in the United States through high-risk, high-reward research in areas of critical national need.
Requires the Director to award competitive, merit-reviewed grants, cooperative agreements, or contracts to: (1) eligible companies that are small or medium-sized businesses; or (2) joint ventures. Sets forth limitations on single company and joint venture awards. Limits the federal share of a project funded by an award under TIP to not more than half of total project costs. Bars any business that is not a small or medium-sized business from receiving any funding under TIP.
Requires the Director to solicit proposals at least annually to address areas of critical national need for high-risk, high-reward projects.
Requires: (1) the NIST Director to submit annually reports on TIP's activities; and (2) the first annual report to include best practices for management of programs to stimulate high-risk, high-reward research.
Requires the Director, in carrying out TIP, as appropriate, to coordinate with other senior state and federal officials to ensure cooperation and coordination in state and federal technology programs and to avoid unnecessary duplication of efforts. Requires that funds accepted from other federal agencies be included as part of the federal cost share of any project funded under TIP.
Establishes within NIST a TIP Advisory Board. Requires such Board to provide to the Director: (1) advice on programs, plans, and policies of TIP; (2) reviews of Tip's efforts to accelerate the R&D of challenging, high-risk, high-reward technologies in areas of critical national need; (3) reports on the general health of the program and its effectiveness in achieving its legislatively mandated mission; and (4) guidance on investment areas that are appropriate for TIP funding.
Requires such Board to transmit annual reports to the Secretary for transmittal to Congress not later than 30 days after the submission to Congress of the President's annual budget request which shall address the status of TIP and comment on the relevant sections of the programmatic planning document and updates thereto transmitted to Congress by the Director.
Defines "high-risk, high-reward research" to mean research that: (1) has the potential for yielding transformational results with far-ranging or wide-ranging implications; (2) addresses critical national needs within NIST's areas of technical competence; and (3) is too novel or spans too diverse a range of disciplines to fare well in the traditional peer review process.
Requires the NIST Director to carry out ATP as it was in effect before the enactment of this Act with respect to applications for grants under ATP submitted before such date, until the earlier of: (1) the date that the Director promulgates the regulations required by this Act for the operation of TIP required under this Act; or (2) December 31, 2007.
(Sec. 3013) Amends the National Institute of Standards and Technology Act to: (1) increase funding for research fellowships and other financial assistance to students at institutions of higher education within the United States and to U.S. citizens for research and technical activities on NIST programs; (2) add as a function of the Secretary and NIST, the authority to enter into contracts which include grants and cooperative agreements to further the purposes of NIST; (3) repeal the Act of July 21, 1950 (relating to the legal units of electrical and photometric measurement in the United States and relating to the establishment of the values of the primary electric and photometric units in absolute measure and the legal values for these units); and (4) repeal the non-energy inventions program.
(Sec. 3014) Authorizes the Director to retain all building use and depreciation surcharge fees collected pursuant to OMB Circular A-25 (relating to fees assessed for government services and for sale or use of government goods or resources). Requires such fees to be collected and credited to the construction of research facilities appropriation account for use in maintenance and repair of NIST's existing facilities.
(Sec. 3015) Amends the National Institute of Standards and Technology Act to double the number of fellows per fiscal year to be included in the postdoctoral fellowship program.
<b>Title IV: Ocean and Atmospheric Programs</b> - (Sec. 4001) Directs the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to establish a program of ocean, coastal, Great Lakes, and atmospheric R&D, in collaboration with academic institutions and other nongovernmental entities, to focus on the development of advanced technologies and methods to promote U.S. leadership in ocean and atmospheric science as well as competitiveness in applied uses of such R&D.
(Sec. 4002) Requires the NOAA Administrator to: (1) conduct, develop, support, promote, and coordinate educational activities to enhance public awareness and understanding of ocean, coastal, Great Lakes, and atmospheric science and stewardship by the general public and other coastal stakeholders; and (2) develop a 20-year ocean, coastal, and atmospheric science education plan.
(Sec. 4003) Requires that NOAA be a full participant in any interagency effort to promote innovation and economic competitiveness through basic scientific R&D and the promotion of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education.
<b>Title V: Department of Energy</b> - Protecting America's Competitive Edge Through Energy Act, or the PACE-Energy Act - (Sec. 5003) Amends the Department of Energy Science Education Enhancement Act (Act) to require the Secretary of Energy (Secretary in this title), acting through the Under Secretary for Science, to: (1) appoint a Director of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Education (Director) to administer science, engineering, and mathematics education programs across all functions of the Department of Energy (DOE); and (2) offer to contract with the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to assess the performance of such programs.
Directs the Secretary to establish a Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Education Fund.
Requires the Secretary, acting through the Director, to: (1) award competitive grants to states in a pilot program to assist them in establishing or expanding public, statewide specialty secondary schools that provide comprehensive science and mathematics; and (2) establish a summer internship program for middle school and secondary school students to provide experiential-based learning opportunities at the National Laboratories.
Directs the Secretary to establish at each of the National Laboratories: (1) a program to support a Center of Excellence in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics in at least one high-need public secondary school; (2) programs of summer institutes to provide additional training to strengthen the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics teaching skills of teachers employed at public schools for kindergarten through grade 12 (K-12); and (3) a program to coordinate and make available to teachers and students web-based kindergarten through high school science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education resources relating to the DOE science and energy mission.
Instructs the Director to establish a recruiting and mentoring program for women and underrepresented minorities to pursue careers in science, engineering, and mathematics.
Directs the Secretary to award each fiscal year to institutions of higher education: (1) up to three competitive grants for new academic degree programs in nuclear science; (2) up to five competitive grants for existing academic degree programs that produce graduates in nuclear science; (3) up to three competitive grants for new academic degree programs in hydrocarbon systems science; (4) up to five competitive grants for existing academic degree programs that produce graduates in hydrocarbon systems science. Authorizes appropriations for FY2008-FY2010.
(Sec. 5006) Instructs the Director of the DOE Office of Science to: (1) award grants to scientists and engineers at an early career stage at certain institutions of higher education, organizations, or National Laboratories to conduct research in fields relevant to the DOE mission; and (2) report to certain congressional committees on the Director's efforts to recruit and retain young scientists and engineers at early career stages at the National Laboratories.
(Sec. 5007) Amends the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to authorize FY2010 appropriations for research, development, demonstration, and commercial application activities of the Office of Science.
(Sec. 5008) Directs the Secretary to establish: (1) distributed, multidisciplinary institutes centered at National Laboratories to apply fundamental scientific and engineering discoveries to technological innovations relating to the DOE mission and the global competitiveness of the United States; and (2) a Protecting America's Competitive Edge (PACE) graduate fellowship program for students pursuing a doctoral degree in a DOE mission area. Authorizes appropriations for FY2008-FY2010.
(Sec. 5010) Expresses the sense of Congress that: (1) DOE should implement the recommendations contained in the report of the Government Accountability Office numbered 04-639; and (2) the Secretary should conduct annual reviews in accordance with title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 of at least two DOE grant recipients.
(Sec. 5011) Instructs the Secretary to establish a program to support the joint appointment of distinguished scientists by institutions of higher education and by the National Laboratories. Authorizes appropriations for FY2008-FY2010.
(Sec. 5012) Establishes within DOE the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) to overcome long-term and high-risk technological barriers in the development of energy technologies.
Directs the Secretary after four years to offer to contract with the NAS to evaluate how well ARPA-E is achieving its goals and mission.
Establishes in the Treasury the Energy Transformation Acceleration Fund to implement the ARPA-E program.
Authorizes appropriations for FY2008-FY2010.
<b>Title VI: Education - Subtitle A: Teacher Assistance - Part I: Teachers for a Competitive Tomorrow</b> - (Sec. 6113) Authorizes the Secretary of Education (Secretary, for purposes of this Title) to award competitive matching grants to enable educational partnerships to develop and implement programs to provide courses of study in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, or critical foreign languages that: (1) are integrated with teacher education; and (2) lead to a baccalaureate degree with concurrent teacher certification.
(Sec. 6114) Authorizes the Secretary to award competitive matching grants to educational partnerships to develop and implement: (1) two- or three-year part-time master's degree programs in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, or critical foreign language education for teachers in order to enhance the teachers' content knowledge and teaching skills; or (2) programs for professionals in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, or a critical foreign language that lead to a one-year master's degree in teaching that results in teacher certification.
(Sec. 6115) Directs the Secretary to award each of the above grants for up to five years. Requires 50% nonfederal matching funds.
(Sec. 6116) Authorizes appropriations.
<b>Part II: Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate Programs</b> - (Sec. 6123) Authorizes the Secretary to award competitive matching grants for up to five-year periods to enable educational agencies or partnerships to carry out activities designed to increase the number of: (1) qualified teachers serving high-need (low-income or rural area) schools who are teaching advanced placement or international baccalaureate courses in mathematics, science, or critical foreign languages; and (2) students attending such schools who enroll in and pass the examinations for such courses.
Requires 200% nonfederal matching funds, but requires no more than 100% from high-need local educational agencies (LEAs). Permits the Secretary to waive the match for educational agencies if it would cause them serious hardship or prevent them from carrying out the program.
<b>Part III: Promising Practices in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Teaching</b> - (Sec. 6131) Requires the Secretary to contract with the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to convene an expert panel to identify promising practices for, and synthesize the scientific evidence pertaining to, improving the teaching and learning of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in kindergarten through grade 12. Requires the dissemination of the panel's findings and recommendations to the public and state and local educational agencies. Authorizes appropriations.
<b>Subtitle B: Mathematics</b> - (Sec. 6201) Authorizes the Secretary to award competitive three-year matching grants to states and, through them, subgrants to high-need LEAs to: (1) implement mathematics programs or initiatives that are research-based; (2) provide professional development and instructional leadership activities for teachers and administrators on the implementation of mathematics initiatives; and (3) conduct student mathematics progress monitoring and identify areas in which students need help in learning mathematics. Applies the program to students and teachers in kindergarten through grade 9. Requires state grantees to contribute 50% of program costs. Authorizes appropriations.
(Sec. 6202) Directs the Secretary to carry out a demonstration program under which the Secretary awards up to five grants each fiscal year to states for the provision of summer learning grants to disadvantaged students. Requires the summer programs to emphasize mathematics, technology, engineering, and problem-solving through experiential learning opportunities. Limits to 50% the federal share of such grants. Authorizes appropriations.
(Sec. 6203) Requires the Secretary to establish a program that provides competitive three-year matching grants to states and, through them, subgrants to eligible LEAs to establish new services and activities to improve the overall mathematics performance of secondary school students. Provides: (1) a minimum grant amount of $500,000; and (2) a state matching funds requirement of 50% of program costs. Authorizes appropriations.
(Sec. 6204) Directs the Secretary to establish peer review panels to review state applications for the mathematics grant programs, excluding the demonstration grant program.
<b>Subtitle C: Foreign Language Partnership Program</b> - (Sec. 6303) Authorizes the Secretary to award grants to enable partnerships of institutions of higher education and LEAs to establish programs of study in critical foreign languages that will enable students to advance successfully from elementary school through postsecondary education and achieve higher levels of proficiency in such languages. Makes such grants for five-year periods, authorizing the Secretary to renew them for up to two additional five-year periods. Outlines matching funds requirements.
(Sec. 6304) Authorizes appropriations.
<b>Subtitle D: Alignment of Education Programs </b>- (Sec. 6401) Authorizes the Secretary to award competitive grants to enable states to work with statewide partnerships to: (1) promote better alignment of content knowledge requirements of secondary school graduation with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in postsecondary education, the 21st century workforce, or the Armed Forces; or (2) establish or improve statewide P-16 (preschool through baccalaureate degree) education data systems. Requires each state to match grant fund amounts. Authorizes appropriations.
<b>Subtitle E: Mathematics and Science Partnership Bonus Grants</b> - (Sec. 6501) Directs the Secretary to award grants, during school years 2007-2008 through 2010-2011, to each of the three elementary and three secondary schools with a high concentration of low-income students in each state whose students demonstrate the most improvement in mathematics and science, respectively.
(Sec. 6502) Authorizes appropriations.
<b>Title VII: National Science Foundation </b>- (Sec. 7002) Authorizes appropriations for FY2008-FY2010 to the National Science Foundation (NSF) for: (1) research and related activities; (2) education and human resources; (3) major research equipment and facilities construction; (4) agency operations and award management; (5) the Office of the National Science Board; and (6) the Office of Inspector General.
(Sec. 7003) Prohibits anything in in this title or title I from being construed to alter or modify the NSF merit-review system or peer-review process.
(Sec. 7004) Expresses the sense of Congress that the Director of the NSF and the Secretary of Education should have ongoing collaboration to ensure that their respective mathematics and science partnership programs continue to work in concert (and not duplicatively) for the benefit of states and local practitioners.
(Sec. 7005) Prohibits anything in this title from being construed to limit the authority of state governments or local school boards to determine the curricula of their students.
(Sec. 7006) Requires the continuation of the program of Centers for Research on Learning and Education Improvement as established in section 11 of the National Science Foundation Authorization Act of 2002 (relating to the establishment of such Centers).
Amends the National Science Foundation Authorization Act of 2002 to provide for the awarding of grants to eligible nonprofit organizations and their consortia to establish such Centers.
(Sec. 7007) Directs the National Science Board to evaluate: (1) the role of NSF in supporting interdisciplinary research, including through the Major Research Instrumentation program, the effectiveness of NSF's efforts in providing information to the scientific community about opportunities for funding of interdisciplinary research proposals, and the process through which interdisciplinary proposals are selected for support; and (2) the effectiveness of NSF's efforts to engage undergraduate students in research experiences in interdisciplinary settings, including through the Research in Undergraduate Institutions program and the Research Experiences for Undergraduates program. Requires the Board to provide the results of its evaluation, including a recommendation for the proportion of the NSF's research and related activities funding that should be allocated for interdisciplinary research.
(Sec. 7008) Instructs the Director to: (1) require that all grant applications that include funding to support postdoctoral researchers include a description of mentoring activities; and (2) ensure that this part of the application is evaluated under NSF's broader impacts merit review criterion. Instructs the Director to require that annual reports and the final report for research grants that include funding to support postdoctoral researchers include a description of the mentoring activities provided to such researchers.
(Sec. 7009) Instructs the Director to require that each institution that applies for financial assistance from NSF for science and engineering research or education describe in its grant proposal a plan to provide appropriate training and oversight in the responsible and ethical conduct of research to participating undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers.
(Sec. 7010) Instructs the Director to ensure that all final project reports and citations of published research documents resulting from research funded, in whole or in part, by the NSF are made available to the public in a timely manner and through NSF's website.
(Sec. 7011) Makes an investigator supported under a NSF award, whom the Director determines has failed to comply with the provisions of section 734 (concerning the dissemination and sharing of research results) of the Foundation Grant Policy Manual, ineligible for a future award under any NSF supported program or activity. Allows the Director to restore the eligibility of such an investigator on the basis of the investigator's subsequent compliance with such provisions and with such other terms and conditions as the Director may impose.
(Sec. 7012) Requires the Director to annually evaluate all NSF's grants that are scheduled to expire within one year and that primarily: (1) meet the objectives of the Science and Engineering Equal Opportunity Act; or (2) provide teacher professional development. Allows the Director, for grants that are identified and that are deemed by the Director to be successful in meeting the objectives of the initial grant solicitation, to extend those grants for not more than three additional years beyond their scheduled expiration without the requirement for a recompetition. Requires the Director to annually submit a report that: (1) lists the grants extended; and (2) provides recommendations regarding the extension of such authority to programs other than those specified in this section.
(Sec. 7013) Requires the National Science Board to: (1) evaluate certain impacts of its policy to eliminate cost sharing for research grants and cooperative agreements for existing and new programs involving industry participation; and (2) report the results of such evaluation.
(Sec. 7014) Requires the National Science Board to evaluate the appropriateness of: (1) the requirement that funding for detailed design work and other preconstruction activities for major research equipment and facilities come exclusively from the sponsoring research division rather than being available from the Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction account; and (2) NSF's policies for allocation of costs for, and oversight of, maintenance and operation of major research equipment and facilities.
Requires the Board to report on the results of such evaluations and on any recommendations for modifying the current policies related to allocation of funding for such equipment and facilities. Requires that plans for proposed construction, repair, and upgrades to national research facilities include estimates of the total project cost and the source of funds for major upgrades of facilities in support of Antarctic research programs.
Requires the Director to transmit: (1) a specified report cataloging all elementary and secondary school, informal, and undergraduate educational programs and activities supported through appropriations for research and related activities; and (2) as part of the President's FY2011 budget submission, a report listing the funding success rates and distribution of awards for the Research in Undergraduate Institutions program.
Requires the Director, not later than 60 days after enactment of legislation providing for the annual appropriation of funds for NSF, to submit a plan for the allocation of education and human resources funds authorized by this title for the corresponding fiscal year, including any funds from within the research and related activities account used to support activities that primarily improve education or broaden participation.
(Sec. 7015) Amends the National Science Foundation Authorization Act of 2002 to require: (1) the Inspector General of NSF to conduct triennial audits (currently, annual audits) of the compliance by the National Science Board with the requirements specified under the Act for open meetings; (2) the Board to maintain the General Counsel's certificate, the presiding officer's statement, and a transcript or recording of any closed meeting for at least three years after such meeting; and (3) appointment of technical and professional personnel on leave of absence from academic, industrial, or research institutions for a limited term and such operations and support staff members (currently, such clerical staff members) as may be necessary.
Amends the National Science Foundation Authorization Act of 1976 to limit the number of Alan T. Waterman Awards that may be made in any one fiscal year to not more than three (under current law, to no more than one).
(Sec. 7016) Requires rendering of National Science Board reports to the President and Congress (under current law, rendered to the President for submission to Congress).
(Sec. 7017) Amends the Program Fraud Civil Remedies Act of 1986 to include the NSF as an authority with respect to the provisions of such Act relating to administrative remedies for false claims and statements.
(Sec. 7018) Requires the NSF Director to: (1) consider the degree to which NSF-eligible awards and research activities may assist in meeting critical national needs in innovation, competitiveness, safety and security, the physical and natural sciences, technology, engineering, social sciences, and mathematics; and (2) give priority in the selection of NSF awards, research resources, and grants to entities that can be expected to make contributions in physical or natural science, technology, engineering, social sciences, or mathematics, or that enhance competitiveness, innovation, or safety and security.
(Sec. 7019) Permits the NSF, in carrying out its research programs on science policy and on the science of learning, to support research on the process of innovation and the teaching of inventiveness.
(Sec. 7020) Requires the NSF Director to develop and publish a plan describing the current status for broadband access for scientific research purposes at institutions in EPSCoR (Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) eligible states, at institutions in rural areas, and at minority serving institutions and outlines actions to ensure that such connections are available to participate in NSF programs that rely heavily on high-speed networking and collaborations across institutions and regions.
(Sec. 7021) Requires the NSF Director to carry out a pilot program to award one-year grants to individuals to assist them in improving research proposals that were previously submitted to NSF but not selected for funding. Requires that such grants be used to enable individuals to resubmit updated research proposals for review by NSF through NSF's competitive merit review process.
Requires the Director to make awards under this section based on the advice of program officers of the NSF.
Permits using funds made available under this section for the generation of new data and the performance of additional analysis.
Allows the Director to carry out this section through the Small Grants for Exploratory Research program.
Directs the National Science Board to conduct a review and assessment of the pilot program.
(Sec. 7022) States that, among the types of activities that the NSF shall consider as appropriate for meeting the requirements of its broader impacts criterion for the evaluation of research proposals are partnerships between academic researchers and industrial scientists and engineers that address research areas identified as having high importance for future national economic competitiveness, such as nanotechnology. Requires the Director to report on the impact of the broader impacts grant criterion used by NSF.
(Sec. 7023) Amends the National Science Foundation Act of 1950 to permit NSF to receive and use funds donated to NSF for specific prize competitions for "basic research" as defined in the Office of Management and Budget Circular No. A-11 (Preparation, Submission, and Execution of the Budget) .
(Sec. 7024) Amends the High-Performance Computing Act of 1991 to revise program requirements for the National High-Performance Computing Program.
Requires the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy to: (1) establish the goals and priorities for federal high-performance computing research, development, networking, and other activities; (2) establish Program Component Areas that implement such goals and identify the Grand Challenges (i.e., fundamental problems in science or engineering, with broad economic and scientific impact, whose solutions will require the application of high-performance computing resources and, as amended by this section, multidisciplinary teams of researchers) that the Program should address; and (3) develop and maintain a research, development, and deployment road map covering all states and regions for the provision of high-performance computing and networking systems.
Revises requirements for annual reports by requiring that such reports: (1) describe Program Component Areas, including any changes in the definition of or activities under such Areas and the reasons for such changes, and describe Grand Challenges supported under the Program; (2) describe the levels of federal funding and the levels proposed for each Program Component Area; (3) describe the levels of federal funding for each agency and department participating in the Program for each such Area; and (4) include an analysis of the extent to which the Program incorporates the recommendations of the advisory committee on high-performance computing. Eliminates the requirement for inclusion of reports on Department of Energy activities taken to carry out the National High-Performance Computing Program.
Requires the advisory committee on high-performance computing to conduct periodic evaluations of the funding, management, coordination, implementation, and activities of the Program, and to report at least once every two fiscal years to specified congressional committees. Prohibits applying provisions for the termination, renewal, and continuation of federal advisory committees under the Federal Advisory Committee Act to such advisory committee.
Instructs the NSF, as part of the Program, to support basic research related to advanced information and communications technologies that will contribute to enhancing or facilitating the availability and affordability of advanced communications services for all people of the United States. Requires the NSF Director to award multiyear grants to institutions of higher education, nonprofit research institutions affiliated with such institutions, or their consortia to establish multidisciplinary Centers for Communications Research. Increases funding for the basic research activities described in this section, including support for such Centers. Requires the NSF Director to transmit to Congress, as part of the President's annual budget submission, reports on the amounts allocated for support of research under this section.
(Sec. 7025) Revises the Science, Mathematics, Engineering, and Technology Talent Expansion program to require the Director to issue grants to institutions of higher education for the creation of not more than five centers to increase the number of students completing undergraduate courses in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and to improve student academic achievement in such courses.
Requires the NSF Director to strive to increase the representation of students from public secondary schools that serve students from families with incomes below the poverty line or are designated with a school locale code of 41, 42, or 43, as determined by the Secretary of Education when providing grants under the Talent Expansion program to increase the number of students studying and completing associate's or bachelor's degrees, concentrations, or certificates in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics by giving priority to programs that heavily recruit female, minority, and disabled students who are from such schools.
(Sec. 7026) Requires the NSF Director to establish a Partnerships for Access to Laboratory Science research pilot program for awarding grants to partnerships to improve laboratories and provide instrumentation as part of a comprehensive program to enhance the quality of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics instruction in secondary schools. Requires such partnerships to include significant teacher preparation, unless such preparation is addressed through other means.
Limits the federal share of partnership costs to 40%.
Requires the Director to report to to specified congressional committees not later than five years regarding the program's effect on student achievement.
Sunsets the provisions of this section on the last day of FY2010.
Authorizes appropriations for the program for FY2008-FY2010.
(Sec. 7027) Requires the NSF Director to report to Congress not later than two years on the extent to which institutions of higher education and private entities are donating used laboratory equipment to elementary and secondary schools.
(Sec. 7028) Revises requirements for the Mathematics and Science Education Partnership program (Partnership program), which provides grants to institutions of higher education or nonprofit organizations for the improvement of elementary and secondary mathematics and science instruction.
Includes the department, college, or program of education at an institution of higher education, in addition to LEAs, state educational agencies, and businesses, among the entities with which institutions of higher education and nonprofit organizations may partner.
Adds to the list of grant fund uses: (1) professional development activities to prepare mathematics and science teachers to teach challenging mathematics, science, and technology college-preparatory courses; (2) laboratory training and support for teachers; (3) induction programs (as defined by in section 6113 of this Act) for teachers in their first two years of teaching; (4) technology and engineering, in addition to mathematics and science, in the student enrichment programs which are to include after-school programs and summer programs for female, minority, and disabled students; and (5) the development and dissemination of curriculum tools that foster inventiveness and innovation. Requires grantees providing challenging college preparatory courses to encourage companies employing scientists, technologists, engineers, or mathematicians to provide mentors to teachers and students.
Requires the Director to transmit to Congress not later than four years of this Act's enactment, a summary of partnership evaluations that describes recommended changes to the program.
(Sec. 7029) Amends the National Science Foundation Authorization Act of 2002 to provide additional Program requirements for the NSF Teacher Institutes for the 21st Century.
(Sec. 7030) Amends the National Science Foundation Authorization Act of 2002 concerning the Robert Noyce Scholarship Program to: (1) rename such Program the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program and rewrite Program requirements, including by allowing participation in the Program by an institution of higher education that receives grant funds on behalf of a consortium of institutions of higher education; and (2) require the NSF Director to establish a separate program to award grants to eligible entities to enable them to administer NSF Teaching Fellowships and Master Teaching Fellowships according to this section. Requires that grants be used by participating partnerships to develop and implement a program to recruit and prepare mathematics, science, or engineering professionals to become NSF Teaching Fellows, and to recruit existing teachers to become NSF Master Teaching Fellows. Requires Teaching Fellows and Master Teacher Fellows to serve as a mathematics or science teacher for four years and five years, respectively, in an elementary or secondary school served by a high-need LEA. Requires a 50% matching funds requirement from non-federal sources.
Increases Program scholarship amounts and sets stipend amounts.
Requires the Director: (1) to transmit to specified congressional committees a report on the effectiveness of the programs carried out under this section; and (2) in consultation with the Secretary of Education, to evaluate whether the scholarships, stipends, and fellowships authorized under this section have been effective in increasing the numbers of high-quality mathematics, and science teachers teaching in high-need LEAs and whether there continue to exist significant shortages of such teachers in such LEAs.
(Sec. 7031) Amends the Scientific and Advanced-Technology Act of 1992 to require the establishment of innovative partnership arrangements under the national advanced scientific and technical education program that encourage the participation of female, minority, and disabled students.
Requires the NSF Director to: (1) establish a program to encourage and make grants available to institutions of higher education that award associate degrees to recruit and train individuals from the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to mentor female, minority, and disabled students in order to assist such students in identifying, qualifying for, and entering higher-paying technical jobs in those fields; (2) make grants available to associate-degree-granting colleges to carry out such program; and (3) establish metrics to evaluate programs established by NSF for encouraging female, minority, and disabled students to study and prepare for careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and report annually to Congress on evaluation results.
(Sec. 7032) Directs the NSF Director to arrange with the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) for a report to Congress about barriers to increasing the number of underrepresented minorities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields and to identify strategies for bringing more underrepresented minorities into the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics workforce.
(Sec. 7033) Authorizes the NSF Director to establish a new program to award grants on a competitive, merit-reviewed basis to Hispanic-serving institutions to enhance the quality of undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education at such institutions and to increase the retention and graduation rates of students pursuing associate's or baccalaureate degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Specifies that the grants awarded shall support: (1) activities to improve courses and curriculum in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics; (2) faculty development; (3) stipends for undergraduate students participating in research; and (4) other activities consistent with the grant program authorized by this section, as determined by the Director.
States that funding for instrumentation is an allowed use of grants awarded under this section.
(Sec. 7034) Requires the NSF Director to establish a clearinghouse, in collaboration with four-year institutions of higher education, industries, and federal agencies that employ science-trained personnel, to share program elements used in successful professional science master's degree programs and other advanced degree programs related to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Requires the Director to award grants to institutions of higher education to facilitate their creation or improvement of professional science master's degree programs that may include linkages between institutions of higher education and industries that employ science-trained personnel, with an emphasis on practical training and preparation for the workforce in high-need fields. Allows the Director to award up to 200 of such grants, which shall be for a three-year period, with one authorized renewal for an additional two-year period. Requires the Director to evaluate the programs and report evaluation results to Congress.
(Sec. 7035) Expresses the sense of Congress that institutions of higher education receiving awards under the NSF Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship program should, among the activities supported under these awards, train graduate students in the communication of the substance and importance of their research to nonscientist audiences. Requires the NSF Director to transmit a report describing . such training programs provided to graduate students who participated in the program. Requires that such report include data on the number of graduate students trained and a description of the types of activities funded.
(Sec. 7036) Sets minimum and maximum amounts of awards under the Major Research Instrumentation program.
Permits, in addition to the acquisition of instrumentation and equipment, funds made available by awards under the Major Research Instrumentation program to be used to support the operations and maintenance of such instrumentation and equipment.
Requires an institution of higher education receiving an award under such program to provide at least 30% of the cost from private or non-federal sources. Exempts institutions of higher education that are not Ph.D-granting institutions from such cost sharing requirement and allows the NSF Director to reduce or waive such requirement for: (1) certain institutions that are not ranked among the top 100 institutions receiving federal R&D funding; and (2) consortia of institutions of higher education that include at least one institution that is not a Ph.D-granting institution.
(Sec. 7037) Revises the selection process for awards that require the submission of preproposals and that also limit the number of preproposals. Requires the National Science Board to: (1) assess the effects on institutions of higher education of NSF policies regarding the imposition of limitations on the number of proposals that may be submitted by a single institution for programs supported by NSF; (2) determine whether current policies are well justified and appropriate for the types of programs that limit the number of proposal submissions; and (3) summarize in a report the Board's findings and any recommendations regarding changes to the current policy on the restriction of proposal submissions.
<b> Title VIII: General Provisions </b>- (Sec. 8001) Directs the Secretary of Commerce, acting through the Director of the Bureau of Economic Analysis, not later than January 31, 2008, to report to Congress on the feasibility, annual cost, and potential benefits of a program to collect and study data relating to the export and import of services.
(Sec. 8002) Expresses the sense of the Senate that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board should complete promulgation of the final rules implementing section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (concerning auditing standards and their effect on small and mid-sized businesses).
(Sec. 8003) Directs the Comptroller General, not later than three years after enactment of this Act, to submit a report to Congress that: (1) assesses a representative sample of the new or expanded programs and activities required to be carried out under this Act; and (2) includes recommendations as the Comptroller General determines are appropriate to ensure effectiveness of, or improvements to, the programs and activities, including termination of programs or activities.
(Sec. 8004) Expresses the sense of the Senate that federal funds should not be provided to any organization or entity that advocates against a U.S. tax policy that is internationally competitive.
(Sec. 8005) Directs the Secretary of Education to arrange with the NAS to conduct a study and provide a report to such Secretary, the Secretary of Commerce, and Congress which shall consider: (1) the mechanisms and supports needed for an institution of higher education or nonprofit to develop and maintain a program to provide free access to online educational content as part of a degree program, especially in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, or foreign languages, without using federal funds, including funds provided under title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965; and (2) whether such a program could be developed and managed by such institution or nonprofit and sustained through private funding. Authorizes appropriations.
(Sec. 8006) Expresses the sense of the Senate that: (1) government policies of the U.S. government relating to deemed exports should safeguard US national security and protect fundamental research; (2) the Department of Commerce has established the Deemed Export Advisory Committee to develop recommendations for improving current controls on deemed exports; and (3) the President and Congress should consider the Committee's recommendations in the development and implementation of export control policies.
(Sec. 8007) Expresses the sense of the Senate that: (1) Congress, the President, regulators, industry leaders, and other stakeholders should take necessary steps to reclaim the preeminent U.S. position in the global financial services marketplace; (2) federal and state financial regulatory agencies should take certain steps to avoid adverse consequences on innovation with respect to financial products and services, and regulatory costs that are disproportionate to their benefits; and (3) Congress should exercise vigorous oversight over federal regulatory and statutory requirements affecting the financial services industry and consumers.
(Sec. 8008) Prohibits a grant or contract funded by amounts authorized by this Act from being used for defraying the costs of a banquet or conference that is not directly and programmatically related to the purpose for which the grant or contract was awarded. Requires: (1) reporting to the appropriate department, administration, or foundation of the records of total costs related to, and justification for, all banquets and conferences; and (2) such department, administration, or foundation to make such records available to the public not later than 60 days after their receipt.
Requires any person awarded a grant or contract funded by such amounts to submit a statement to the Secretary of Commerce, the Secretary of Energy, the Secretary of Education, the Administrator, or the Director, as appropriate, certifying that no funds derived from the grant or contract will be made available through a subcontract or in any other manner to another person who has a financial interest or other conflict of interest in the person awarded the grant or contract, unless such conflict is previously disclosed and approved in the process of entering into a contract or awarding a grant. Provides for the appropriate Secretary, Administrator, or Director to make all documents received that relate to the certification available to the public.
Makes such amendments effective 360 days after enactment of this Act. Bars such amendments from being applicable to grants or contracts authorized under sections 6201 and 6203 of this Act.
Status of the Legislation
Latest Major Action: 8/4/2007: Presented to President.
Points in Favor
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